Rashes are quite common among children in their growing years. But if your child is constantly scratching and complaining of itchiness, there is every possibility that your little one is struggling with eczema.
Eczema is a typical skin condition where the skin on the body and the scalp gets irritated and red, prompting frequent scratching. This condition leads to the development of annoying fluid filled bumps which are moist. These bumps keep oozing as your child keeps on scratching.
Causes Of Eczema In Children:
While the condition itself is not an allergy, eczema is often a resultant of other allergies. Sometimes, if your family history has cases of hay fever, asthma or other allergies, there is every chance that your child may suffer with the rashes due to the inborn gene make up. Below are some causes of eczema in kids:
- Genetic disorder
- Atopic dermatitis, a skin disease also known as infantile eczema
- Environmental factors
- Allergens like dust, pollen, animal dander
- Excessive climatic conditions such as heat and humidity
- Emotional stress
Signs and Symptoms of Eczema :
It is stated that 1 out of 10 children usually develop rashes due to eczema. The signs and symptoms are mostly felt in the first five years of your kid’s life, post which the condition is likely to reduce drastically or even disappear significantly.
Here are some signs and symptoms that you have to watch out for in your child to know if it is the case of eczema::
- Itchy, dry and red skin
- Small bumps on cheeks, forehead or scalp
- Rash that keeps spreading to limbs
- Red, crusted and open lesions that are seen on the skin of any body part
- Circular and highly elevated scaly rashes that are frequently itchy
- Frequent scratching to reduce the itchy sensation. Your child is found always scratching while doing the regular activities
Usually, eczema tends to disappear as your child grows older. Your kid may once again encounter the condition at the onset of puberty during the hormonal shift in the teen years.
[ Read: Causes Of Heat Rashes In Children ]
Prevention Of Eczema:
It is good to check for the symptoms and prevent eczema in the initial stages. If your child develops the condition due to allergens and environmental factors, it is good to prevent the same by understanding what triggers it.
1. The below triggers are some of the usual suspects that your child must stay away from:
2. Dry skin (eczema develops on dry surface, hence always better to keep the skin moist and hydrated)
3. Extreme weathers (Heat, humidity, chilly frost, etc.)
6. Animal residue
7. Harsh soaps and detergents that increase the condition
8. Skin care products that do not agree with the skin
9. Food triggers (sometimes your child may be allergic to certain foods that cause rashes)
10. Emotional stress
11. Clothing triggers (certain clothing will not go well with your child’s sensitive skin)
12. Frequent sweating
13. Tendency to scratch (This has to be stopped by all means as it only aggravates the condition more)
[ Read: Tips To Treat Dry Skin In Children ]
Diagnosis Of Eczema:
If your child does not improve despite taking all the precautions, it is advisable to consult a skin specialist who will diagnose the condition in detail. The doctor will check for the following while examining your child:
Your child may have certain eating habits and patterns that require addressing. The doctor will also identify the food triggers by asking questions.
2. Other Underlying Skin Diseases:
Sometimes, chronic eczema is a cause of a secondary skin ailment such as seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap), psoriasis (genetic skin disease) and contact dermatitis (caused by skin coming in direct contact with an allergen).
3. Medical History:
The past medical history of your child will be examined taking into account any family history, any previous medical surgery undergone by your child etc.,
4. Examination Of The Rashes:
The doctor will examine your child’s rashes in detail checking for factors like appearance, distribution, longevity, thickening of skin from itching etc.
5. Allergic Can Test:
Your specialist may even do this to check if the rashes are due to an allergic reaction. This test is done via blood test, patch test and scratch/pick test (injecting allergens into the skin for trial)
Treatment For Eczema In Children:
The doctor may prescribe topical creams and ointments, along with antibiotics, depending on the severity of the condition. Some of eczema treatments include:
- Topical corticosteroids (cortisone or steroid creams)
- Non steroid ointments used along with topical steroids
- Antihistamines (to control itching)
- UV Light ( severe eczema in children. This is done under supervision of a dermatologist)
Note: The creams and ointments should be used as prescribed by the doctor. They should not be bought over the counter without prior prescription. Also, a topical cream suggested for one child cannot be applied to another, no matter how identical the condition is.
[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Allergies In Children ]
Some Important Pointers For Parents:
As a parent, you have to ensure few things so that your child can get rid of eczema in a more effective way.
- Personal hygiene of your child is very crucial. Make sure that there is a clean regime maintained along with good skin care every day.
- Clothing should be washed in mild detergents and not the harsh ones, so that the existing condition is not aggravated due to triggers
- Watch out for the red flags like increased fever, warmth around the affected areas, pus filled bumps and blisters. These have to be reported immediately to the doctor.
Following a healthy lifestyle and good hygiene helps get rid of eczema faster. The tendency to scratch has to be curbed so that your child is completely cured. Talk to your family specialist for more inputs specific to your child.
After all, prevention is always better than cure!
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